National Popular Vote Scheme is Wounded, but still Alive
This is Representative Billy Bob Faulkingham from Winter Harbor.
Just yesterday, an amazing thing happened in the Maine House.
21 Democrats joined all Republicans to defeat an attempt to get around the Constitution and the Electoral College. The final vote was 76-66.
For listeners new to this debate, here is what the so-called ‘National Popular Vote’ proposal does.
The presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia would be given the electoral votes of the states who voted for this proposal regardless of who the people in that state voted for.
This legislation takes effect only if enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes, that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President, which is 270 of 538. Nationally, this now stands at 189. Supporters need just 81 more.
Had this been in effect in 2004, Maine’s votes would have gone to George W. Bush, the popular vote winner, even though Mainers voted for John Kerry.
In other words, if Maine voted differently than the rest of the country, our electors must cast Maine’s voted for someone that Maine didn’t vote for!
Maine’s voice will be silenced by results in larger, more urban states!
The nationwide ‘National Popular Vote’ movement is a knee-jerk reaction to the 2016 election of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. It is an attempt by as few as 11 states to get around the Electoral College.
The Framers of our Constitution designed a system that gave smaller states a form of representation that prevents larger states from walking all over them. This is why even though representatives are apportioned based on population, every state has two Senators regardless of population.
What makes the Electoral College so valuable is that it is weighted to the population centers, but gives people in other states a voice in how they are governed.
A candidate must have diverse support among the many interests across different states.
If people want to elect their President solely through the popular vote, it should be done by amending the Constitution. Change the rules, rather than go around them.
If this scheme is passed, it will lead to chaos.
Can you imagine the logistics, cost, and hysteria that would ensue if a national recount was necessary? Who can forget the recount in Florida after the 2000 presidential election? Image that chaos and uncertainty on a national scale.
There is the issue of ballot integrity on a national scale. If the states only have power over their own electors, then they can’t stuff the ballot box for other states. Currently, if there is fraud in one state, it is less likely to affect the outcome.
What about differences in national turnout?
Local elections drive turnout. Does Maine really want to give up its electoral votes because California had several enthusiastic candidates, while Louisiana voters stayed home because of an uncontested election?
Alternatively, what if a massive snowstorm hits the Midwest, while there are sunny skies in southern states?
The Electoral College protects against those situations.
Our founders established a system of checks and balances designed to protect everyone, especially minorities, from the tyranny of the majority.
It is a result of comprise that brings people together for the good of the whole.
If this scheme succeeds, I have no doubt that it will result in a Constitutional Crisis that requires a ruling by the United States Supreme Court.
That would mean more chaos.
The current system favors Maine and the influence of our citizens to impact the selection of a President. To abandon this system is to cede Maine’s voice to New York and California.
The National Popular Vote is a bad idea for Maine and the USA.
Which brings me to the most important point of this radio address.
Even though we won in the House this past week, there is still a danger that enough Democratic legislators will be pressed into changing their minds by progressive special interest groups from larger states.
This has happened already this session when 50 Democrats voted to ban harmful ethanol from our environment and gasoline, only to change their minds after being pressured by powerful corn-ethanol industry lobbyists and the Governor’s Office.
Time and time again this session, extreme, agenda-driven proposals from out-of-state have been imposed on Maine because of one-party rule. And now, with this scheme, they want to give away our voice to those out-of-state interests.
I want to thank the 21 House Democrats that voted with all Republicans to defeat this bad idea.
But, and this is where you come in…
We need listeners to see how your Representative voted and reach out to them. If they voted against the bill, please thank them and encourage them to stay strong.
If they voted they other way, please encourage them to reconsider and vote no if and when it is brought up again. Tell them to keep Maine’s voice strong and un-muffled by those in Texas and California.
House members can be contacted by calling 287-1400.
Please reach out to ensure that this bad idea is not resurrected.
This is Representative Billy Bob Faulkingham from Winter Harbor, thank you for listening.
Representative Billy Bob Faulkingham represents House District 136, the towns of Gouldsboro, Hancock, Mariaville, Osborn, Sorrento, Steuben, Sullivan, Waltham, Winter Harbor, Fletchers Landing Township, and part of East Hancock. round: